Obituaries for June 25, 2014

Jun. 24, 2014 @ 04:14 PM

Retha Dula

Mary Retha Lunsford Dula, 78, of Lenoir passed away Tuesday, June 24, 2014, at Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care in Hudson. Born Jan. 29, 1936, in Watauga County, Mrs. Dula was a daughter of the late Hansford and Lala Ruppert Lunsford and the wife of John Junior Dula, of the home.

Other than her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, Thomas Lunsford, and a grandchild, Christian Watters.

Mrs. Dula was an active member of Clearview Baptist Church for over 30 years serving as the Church Secretary.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by three children, Diane Dula West and husband Richard, John David Dula and Glenda Dula, all of Lenoir; two sisters, Ruth Lail of Granite Falls, andPolly Lunsford of Hudson; one brother, Johnny Lunsford of Granite Falls; eight grandchildren, Gina, Shaina, Paige, Creed, B.J., Jeremy, Ashley, and Lauren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

A celebration of Mrs. Dula’s life will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, June 26, 2014, at Clearview Baptist Church with the Rev. John Pritchard and the Rev. Keith Phelps officiating. Burial will follow in the Church cemetery.

The family will receive friends on Thursday from 1 until 2, one hour prior to the service.

Pallbearers will be: Bill Lail, Allen Lail, Dickie Lail, Todd Lail, Chuck Lunsford, Wes Lunsford, Jim Mills and Christian Lunsford.

The family respectfully requests memorials be made to Clearview Baptist Church, 2455 Alfred Hartley Road, Lenoir, NC 28645.

Online condolences may be sent to the Dula Family at

Evans Funeral Service & Crematory of Lenoir is serving the Dula Family.

Victoria Howell

Victoria Ann Mills Howell departed this life on Friday, June 20, 2014, at Caldwell UNC Healthcare in Lenoir.

She was born Aug. 14, 1945, in Caldwell County to the late Augustus Allen Mills and Lillie Mae Patterson Mills. Victoria was named by the hospital nursing staff signifying her date of birth as the “victory” and end of World War II. She was affectionately called “Vicky” by family and friends.

After graduating from Freedman High School in 1963, she matriculated to North Carolina Central University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. She later earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. Her employment history included Caldwell County Department of Social Services, Blue Ridge Community Action, Caldwell County Schools, Caldwell Memorial Hospital, Fine’s Men Shop, JC Penney, and most notably Belk Department Store.

Vicky was a lifelong member of Smith Memorial United Methodist Church and served as a Lay Speaker, Communion Steward, member of the choir and United Methodist Women. She enjoyed sharing her gifts and talents each year during Vacation Bible School as an arts/crafts teacher.

She was known throughout Lenoir and the surrounding area as a historian who loved community and culture. Vicky was a clothing salesperson par excellence and a former member of the Red Hat Society Chapter Classy Ebony Belles of Lenoir, the Dulatown Outreach Center Board, the Historical Society and the Lenoir Women’s Club, to name a few.

Vicky was passionate, caring, encouraging and straight forward. She will be remembered by many for her quick wit and outgoing personality.

Vicky is preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Mayo Mills Jones. She leaves to cherish her memories the love of her life, her son, Darwin Evander “Van” Mills and his wife, Tammy; brothers, Vodray A. Mills and Michael C. Mills (Kay); sister, Ella Mills Horton (Leroy); and many loving relatives and friends.

A celebration of Vicky’s life will be held at Smith Memorial United Methodist Church on Friday, June 27, 2014, at 2 p.m. with the Rev. Charlie Rivens officiating.

The family respectfully requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials in honor of Vicky be sent to Smith Memorial United Methodist Church, 426 Woodsway Lane, Lenoir, NC 28645.

Tara Dean

Tara Gail Smith Dean, 35, of Lenoir passed away on June 22, 2014.

Tara was born on Sept. 21, 1978, in Caldwell County to Wayne M. and Barbara “Bobbie” Smith. Tara graduated from Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute with an associate’s degree in accounting.

She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Ronald C. and Pairlee Greene.

In addition to her parents, survivors include her daughters, Meagan Edith Chandler of Lenoir, and Amilya “Mia” Pairlee Dean of Lenoir; one brother, Brad Gene Scott of Maiden; nephews Sean Matthew Scott of Newton, and Cory Aaron Scott of Lenoir; and great-nephew Noah Scott of Newton. Also surviving is her aunt Patricia Anne Bishop of Lenoir, and uncles Steve Ronald Greene of Dudley Shoals and Scott Eric Greene of Hickory.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday June 26, 2014, at 6 p.m. in the Cornerstone Cremation Celebration of Life Center, Lenoir with the Pastor Phillip Hawkins officiating.

The family will receive friends following the service at Cornerstone Cremation Funeral Celebrations, Lenoir.

Cornerstone Cremation Funeral Celebrations, Lenoir is serving the Smith family.

An online obituary and guestbook is available at